The New York Times praised Tengda's Milford location—one of eight in a small regional chain—as "perfect for young-at-heart couples and groups," with a high-energy atmosphere bubbling around cuisine it called "very good." The chefs draw gustatory inspiration from China, Japan, and Thailand as they create their expansive menus of Pan-Asian fare, which include fiery stir-fries, grilled meats, and sushi and provide reading material for shy diners throughout a full meal. Moody red and yellow lights dapple sleek black tables and booths, and might occasionally catch knife-flipping and drink-slinging theatrics behind the sushi and cocktail bars.
Amid the vibrant décor of Vega Mexican Cuisine, chefs treat patrons to a menu suffused with gooey quesadillas, piping-hot soups, house-made tortillas and salsas, and a host of organic ingredients. Diners can warm belly motors with a bowl of creamy poblano chili soup—corn kernels, potatoes, and mushrooms drenched in cheese—beneath the watchful eyes of a Frida Kahlo portrait or anchor fork tines in a salmon salad drizzled in a honey-chipotle creamy dressing. An eclectic assortment of chandeliers bathes colorful booths in warm lighting as dinnertime eaters sup on shrimp fajitas, which conceal adobo spices and Carmen Sandiego beneath a medley of onions, bell peppers, and cilantro.
Each meal at FIG & OLIVE begins with a tasting, but it's not the kind you might expect. Servers deliver three kinds of olive oil to the table, which guests sample by snacking on freshly baked bread.
This olive-oil trio is but a small selection from a vast library: FIG & OLIVE sells more than 30 varieties, and displays them at the entrance of every restaurant location. What's more, olive oil is incorporated into almost every Mediterranean-inspired dish on the menu. For example:
Mediterranean branzino: a delicate-flavored fish glazed with fig and 18-year-old balsamic vinegar, paired with olive oil mashed potato. It's served tableside and finished with Koroneiki olive oil?a good match because of its herbaceous flavor.
Veal Milanese: breaded veal escalopine, roasted tomato, and thyme and garlic saut?ed broccolini adorn pesto fettucine, served with tomato mascarpone sauce.
Cr?me brul?e cheesecake: a decadent dessert made with caramelized peaches from Scholl Orchards. Even this dish benefits from olive oil, this time in the form of a crisp on top.
These creations are the brainchildren of founder Laurent Halasz and his distinguished kitchen team. It was Halasz's upbringing in southern France that imbued him with a knack for Mediterranean cooking and a passion for olive oil's many subtleties. To better emulate the feel of his home region, he's decorated FIG & OLIVE with coastal touches, including a marble communal table, wrought-iron olive branches, and an olive tree as a centerpiece.
In 2010, Rustico Ristorante owners Nello Tizzano and Anna Macciocco wanted to change things up. So, they transformed the restaurant's rustic decor and rolled out a sleek, modern concept—ZáZá Italian Kitchen. Now, live music reverberates against red walls that surround hand-painted tables and a red marble bar with lighting that changes color. Within that updated space, however, a wood-fired oven covered in white mother-of-pearl tile and imported from Naples roots the restaurant in its origins: authentic old-country cuisine.
The New York Times called that oven “a structure of wonder…that does its job splendidly” as it cooks pies topped with ingredients such as spicy calabrese salami and housemade mozzarella. This, along with the shmoos that live under every table, is part of what makes ZáZá “one of the more accomplished pizzerias around.” The oven also bakes 100% Angus beef burgers and all-beef frankfurters wrapped in pizza dough. Nello and Anna’s culinary team crafts more traditional Italian dishes, too, including housemade gnocchi and meatballs wrapped in eggplant.
Hurricane Grill & Wings showcases its library of more than 30 sauces in dishes that blend American, Mexican, and tropical influences. Their sauces' level of spiciness mimics hurricane intensity ratings, from the honey or mango barbecue options occupying Category 1 to the Ridiculously Hot Hurricane sauce in Category 5. In between sit flavors of ancho chili and lime, jamaican jerk, chipotle raspberry, and spicy sweet chili. Baskets of jumbo or boneless wings come tossed in guests’ sauces of choice, as do grilled chicken or mahi-mahi sandwiches.
Elsewhere on the menu are tropically themed selections such as firecracker shrimp tacos, Southwest-style churrasco steak, and Monterey jack-filled quesadillas, while the to-go menu can accommodate large gatherings, such as sports-watching parties or jury-duty reunions. Meanwhile, bottle and tap beers from Abita, Harpoon, Redhook, and many other breweries help subdue roaring mouth fires.
Upon stepping up to the counter at Masala Kraft Cafe—two-time winner of a Best of Westchester award, diners feast their eyes on a host of vegetarian options bathed in traditional Indian spices and herbs. Owner Bela Mehta strives to serve the kind of quick, healthy food that is found on every corner in Mumbai, the city from which she hails. The entirely vegetarian menu features the Masala Kraft sandwich, a homemade veggie cutlet and cilantro chutney on grilled focaccia, and palak with onion kulcha, an authentic Indian spinach curry served with stuffed bread. One of their most popular delicacies is the dosa—crispy rice crepes wrapped around fillings such as spiced mashed potatoes—a street-food staple whose folded shape allows diners to eat on the go or burst into an epic Bollywood dance routine without spilling.